Bacteriology is the branch of microbiology that is devoted to the study of bacteria. Bacteriologists are concerned with the structure and function of bacteria, the ways in which environmental conditions affect bacterial growth, and the effect that bacteria have on other organisms. Bacteriologists in the MMI department at OHSU use a combination of molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to investigate how bacteria interact with the world around them. Research in the department aims to answer questions such as how bacterial pathogens modulate expression of their genes in response to environmental stimuli such as iron, what new virulence factors can be elucidated by studying regulatory networks that are required for systemic infection, how effector proteins secreted by specialized secretion systems of pathogenic bacteria can manipulate cellular processes of host organisms, and how human pathogens interact and infect host macrophages.